Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — July 28 - August 1
Every Sunday, we publish a week of Cooking Light dinner plans filled with our favorite recipes—both from current issues and classics. Each meal is designed to be ready and on the table in 45 minutes or less so that you have more time to enjoy the food you’ve prepared and the company of those for which you've prepared it.
The PlanMonday: Grilled Cheese and Green Chile Sandwiches and Grilled Summer Squash GremolataTuesday: Eggplant Bolognese and Herbed BreadsticksWednesday: Coconut Chicken Strips and Basmati Rice and Multibean SaladThursday: Panko-Crusted Cod with Tomato-Basil Relish and Soba Noodle SaladFriday: Grilled Corn, Chicken, and Bell Pepper Salad and Roasted Potato WedgesDessert: Quick Banana and Milk Chocolate S'mores
Monday: Break out the cast iron, and prepare for a sandwich experience unlike any you've probably had before. Mild Anaheim peppers and spicy poblanos punch up the basic grilled cheese in our Grilled Cheese and Green Chile Sandwiches. The pepper combo is great together, but if you can't find both, use any combination of mild and/or spicy peppers. Maybe not jalapeños, though--unless you're really brave. Try Grilled Summer Squash Gremolata as a simple side to finish off this Meatless Monday meal. No need to fire up a grill just for the gremolata--a grill pan on your stove will work.
Tuesday: We had a great vegetable-forward meal last night, so let's keep it going. This Eggplant Bolognese has meat in it, but it's chock-full of eggplant, too--1 1/2 pounds to be exact. The main dish has protein, grains, and vegetables in it, so serve with our tasty Herbed Breadsticks to sop up all the flavorful tomato sauce, and you've got a full and filling dish in just 45 minutes.
Wednesday: You might think toasted coconut sounds a little odd with chicken strips, but Coconut Chicken Strips and Basmati Rice may become one of your most favorite meals after tonight. The toasted coconut gives a delicate sweetness to the chicken, but the spicy dipping sauce evens it out. Brown basmati rice with a little cilantro and lime juice makes an easy, mostly-hands-off side, which leaves you a little time to add some veg to your plate with Multibean Salad. This fast take on a traditional summer side, the Three Bean Salad, comes together quickly once you've done all your chopping and slicing.
Thursday: If you're trying to get your family to eat more seafood, or if you're just trying to find new seafood dishes that will please the whole family, our Panko-Crusted Cod with Tomato-Basil Relish might fit the bill. The crunchy coating makes the cod taste almost-fried, and the easy relish is right at home on any protein. Pick up soba noodles at an Asian grocery store--or use whole-wheat spaghetti if you can't find it--to make a side of Soba Noodle Salad. Add any vegetables you have leftover from this week's meals to really fill it out.
Friday: Give the classic chicken salad a thoroughly modern update in this Grilled Corn, Chicken, and Bell Pepper Salad. Summer is the perfect time to try it, while corn and peppers are their most flavorful. If you have any leftovers, it's even more delicious the next day. Before you start the salad, put the Roasted Potato Wedges in the oven, and in just 45 minutes, you'll have an easy dinner to send you off into a relaxing weekend.
Dessert: I almost always have the ingredients for s'mores on hand. You never know when a craving for these campfire treats will hit you. I really love the fun addition of banana in these Quick Banana and Milk Chocolate S'mores--and you don't even need to gather firewood to make them. If you have dark chocolate on hand, it's just as good as milk, but it might not melt as quickly as the classic chocolate.